Now That The Snow Is Melting….

It seems that we have been giving a lot of attention lately to The Mississippi River and all the flooding that it has produced. (and rightfully so). But, if you think that’s the only flood story that we will have to deal with this spring, think again!  If you do a search here in the weather blog section, then there is a good chance you may run across a blog (or 20) about the amazing snowfall that The Rockies had this past winter. For ski resorts, it was one of the best ever! But, that snow has to melt, and it could be happening faster than many had hoped for.

Usually when the spring thaw comes, it’s a gradual thaw in The Rockies and usually leads to swollen rivers but major flooding is usually not a huge concern. But, as we all know, this year has been one of extremes and the flooding in Colorado and Wymong may go bonkers very soon.

For Colorao and Western Wyoming, these places had some of their biggest snowfalls ever this past winter with many areas picking up over 500 inches of snow. But, the extreme snow was limited mostly in the mountains.

Denver posted one of it’s driest winters on record, while Loveland had one of it’s wettest. So, add the extreme winter in the mountains, and then the very cool April, and that spells trouble for many mountain towns. Due to April’s cool temperatures, the snow didn’t melt as much as locals had hoped for. So, with more snow still remaining, and the likelyhood that a very quick warm up could head into Colorado and Wyoming soon, this means rapid snowmelt and rivers that may not be able to handle it.

As is, just south of Jackson,Wyoming, a FLOOD WARNING has been posted and will likely stay up for a while as 1.5 inches of snow melt per day. Debris flows and flooding will be major here.

So, why is all this happening?? Give La Nina credit here. The impacts of La Nina are still being felt (even here in Oklahoma too. Eastern Oklahoma is getting tons of rain, while Western OKlahoma…hardly a drop). If you plan to head to Colorado this summer and want to play in the rivers… then pay close attention, or wait until July!  But the news isn’t all bad! Lake Mead, the lake created because of The Hoover Dam was reaching some extremely low levels that some areas in the desert had considered issuing water restrictions. But, now, it looks like this may not be a problem as the lake will fill quickly in the next few months.

-Damon

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